Disclaimer: Don't own Star Wars as my name is not George and I would look really silly in one of those plaid shirts.
Author's Note: A mini-fic in which Leia and Luke receive a letter from an old friend.
My dearest Leia,
Now that the galaxy has finally seen the downfall of the Empire I feel the time is right to tell you and Luke the story of your parents.
I must begin with the arrival of the Trade Federation. This collection of Neimoidian traders were part of the Senate in the Old Republic. They sent a blockade to orbit my home planet of Naboo when I was sixteen years old. Your mother was fourteen, and she was my dearest friend in all the galaxy. She was Padmé Naberrie Amidala, Queen of Naboo, and I was her handmaiden.
It is here that I must confess a truth. My true name is Sabé. It is only now that I can speak it aloud without it resulting in my death. I have used a false name and back-story for almost twenty years as a means of disguise. I apologise for my deception, but you must remember that I am the same person no matter what name I go by.
Your mother was Queen for a total of eight years. After that she became Senator. The Trade Federation blockade came very early in her first year as Queen, and she was praised by many afterward for the manner in which she handled the crisis.
As a means of protection the Queen trades places with one of her handmaidens. For the Amidala-reign that handmaiden was me. Your mother and I looked very much alike, and often during our childhood we had been mistaken for sisters. When we had changed places and I had the Royal ensemble on, few could tell us apart. When the Trade Federation battle droids invaded, we switched.
They were going to hold us captive in a camp, but we were rescued by two Jedi; Obi-Wan Kenobi, (a name I know you recognise), and his Master, Qui-Gon Jinn. They helped us to escape, but our ship's hyperdrive was damaged and we were forced to land on Tatooine for repairs. There, Qui-Gon travelled into Mos Espa with Padmé, (as a handmaiden), and I remained on board as Queen, under the protection of Obi-Wan.
In Mos Espa, Padmé met a young boy of nine, called Anakin Skywalker. He was a slave to a junk dealer named Watto. It was through his assistance that we were able to acquire the parts for our ship. Qui-Gon saw at once what remarkable powers he had, and took it upon himself to free him and present him before the Jedi Council on Coruscant. The Force was incredibly strong with him. Not only that, but he was already a good pilot and mechanic. He had built a protocol droid to help his mother around the house. That droid was C-3P0, although he had a memory wipe that has erased every recollection of what I'm telling you. I can assure you with confidence, however, that R2-D2 knows every detail.
With Anakin freed and the ship repaired we left to continue our journey to Coruscant, where Padmé was to address the Senate to ask for help. For this, of course, she became Queen again, and I went back to being handmaiden Sabé.
The Senate hearing did not go as planned, and Padmé made the decision to return to Naboo, despite the unsafe situation. She had concocted a plan to take back the planet when it became obvious to her that any Senatorial decision would take weeks to decide. She called for a vote of no confidence in the Chancellor, and Naboo's Senator of the time was eventually elected as the new one. Little did we know what power we were handing him, for this man was none other than Palpatine.
We were rejoined by the Jedi and Anakin, where we were informed that the boy's fate was undecided, but the Council did not wish him to be trained as a Jedi. When we reached Naboo, Padmé and I changed places once more, and I became Queen again.
Our success in the upcoming battle rested on the shoulders of a race called the Gungans. They lived in the swamps, and did not get on well with the Nubian people. Padmé's plan was to form an alliance with them. Their leader was not impressed with us, and eventually Padmé had to speak herself and reveal that she was the true Queen, and I was a decoy. Anakin was truly stunned by this, as he and Padmé had become close friends. I could tell by the looks on the Jedi's faces that they had known our secret all along. Especially Obi-Wan. He knew me a little, as we had talked a number of times while on board the ship.
During the battle our group was split up. The Gungans created a diversion on the plains, Anakin hid in an empty fighter where it was safer, and the Jedi parted from us to battle a Sith warrior. Padmé led her troops to the Throne Room to capture the Trade Federation Viceroy, and later called on me to make an appearance there to confuse and draw away some of the battle droids in the hope that they would mistake me for the real Queen. It worked, and she was successful.
Anakin flew up in the fighter and managed to destroy the Federation's control ship, thus shutting down every single battle droid. We could not believe that a nine-year-old boy had succeeded in doing such a thing, but soon such talents in Anakin were considered commonplace.
Obi-Wan had killed the Sith Lord, but had lost Qui-Gon, who had perished at the mercy of the Sith's blade. His funeral was several days later, followed by a celebration parade to mark Naboo's freedom. Obi-Wan became Anakin's new Master, as the Jedi Council decided that the boy should be trained. They left Naboo shortly afterwards, and Padmé and I did not see them again until a good ten years later.
Your mother was called to Coruscant to cast her vote against the creation if an Army of the Republic. As Senator she was often on Coruscant for business purposes. There was at this time a group of anti-Republic star systems known as the Separatists. The army was wanted to counter their threats, but Padmé believed that this was would only result in war.
This, my dear Luke and Leia, was the beginning of the end of the Old Republic. We did not realise what changes were going to come about in the years afterwards.
After an unsuccessful assassination attempt was made against Padmé, Chancellor Palpatine placed her under Jedi protection. The protectors? Master Kenobi and his apprentice, the now very-much-grown-up Anakin.
Another attempt was made on Padmé's life, and the Jedi Council sent Anakin to escort her back to Naboo, where it was safer. There, they fell in love, very much against sense and their own better judgement. Jedi of the Old Republic were forbidden to love and form attachments. Anakin and Padmé knew they were breaching the code, but eventually they married. This, Padmé did not tell me until many months afterward.
While Anakin took Padmé back to Naboo, I remained on Coruscant with Obi-Wan while he conducted an investigation into Padmé's attackers. I knew it was not a wise decision, but I could not bring myself to leave the man I loved again. And I did love him, truly. And he loved me. But we never spoke it, knowing it to be forbidden. The sentiment was exchanged many a time by a gaze, but never by mouth.
During the Clone Wars, (the history of which I'll not bore you, as I would not be able to tell you anything more than the official records), Padmé and Anakin conducted stealthy meetings, keeping their marriage secret from the galaxy. When Padmé became pregnant we knew there would not be much time before people started to notice. For five months she hid it beneath her Senatorial robes, but we knew it would not work for many more weeks. She feared scandal.
However, it was also at this time that everything began to fall apart. Anakin began having dreams in which Padmé dies in childbirth. He feared for her life, and longed to find a way to save her. I believe he thought the Dark Side held the answer. He turned, and became Darth Vader. Chancellor Palpatine was revealed to be a Sith Lord, and all over the galaxy the clone troopers, following a coded order from the Chancellor, killed the Jedi they had once fought side by side with. Obi-Wan and Yoda were the only two Jedi to survive. Anakin had murdered the Jedi children on Coruscant, and was doing the bidding of the new self-proclaimed Emperor.
Padmé flew to find him on a planet called Mustafar, and Obi-Wan stowed away on board. Anakin believed that his wife had betrayed him by bringing Obi-Wan to him, and he Force-choked her. She lost consciousness, and Obi-Wan and Anakin, or Vader I should perhaps say, battled. Vader fell and was consumed by lava. The next time any of us saw him, he was in that appalling black armour.
Obi-Wan flew Padmé back to Coruscant where I was waiting. She went into premature labour and gave birth to you. Luke first, then Leia almost immediately afterwards. And then she died. Her last words mirrored your belief, Luke. She told Obi-Wan and myself that she believed that there was still good in Anakin. And she was right. Anakin eventually won through again. I hope this account has not distressed you both too much. I still have a little more to tell.
I went back to Naboo after your mother's death for her funeral. I lived there for a few short months before coming to Alderaan to watch over Leia. Obi-Wan had disappeared to Tatooine, taking Luke with him, and Yoda had gone into exile on Dagobah. For years I thought nothing of contacting my love for fear of his discovery. But a few months before the destruction of Alderaan I took it upon myself to travel to Tatooine to find him. As it was, he found me. Force knows how he still recognised me after all the years.
I still loved him, and I always will. That was the time I finally told him. He explained that he loved me still, and always would. I spent a happy few weeks there before he sent me away to Naboo, saying that I would be safer there. He sensed something looming in the Force. That was the last time I ever saw my Obi-Wan. But I am glad that he died knowing how I felt.
We used to be a group of four – two Jedi and the women they loved. Although not all of this was known at the time, the four of us were happy in each other's company. Now I am the only one left, here to tell you the tale of your mother and father, and my own story. Soon I will rejoin them, for I shall die shortly.
My dear Leia, I have loved you like a niece and watched you grow up. I have been very ill for many months now. That was my reasoning for the above comment. But I will die in peace, knowing that I will soon be with the man I love, and happy in the knowledge that my tale and Padmé's is now known to you and Luke.
Force be with you both.